The Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) is a deciduous flowering tree in the Sapindaceae family of soapberry and lychee trees. It is also known as the European Horse Chestnut and the Conker Tree. Horses eat the seeds.
It grows to about 39 metres (128 feet) tall. The leaves are 60 centimetres (24 inches) across. Its flowers are usually white with a yellow to pink blotch at the base of the petals. The flowers are 10-30 centimetres (4-12 inches) long.
The Horse Chestnut produces fruit, which are green spiky capsules. Inside is one large brown horse chestnut. It is a nut-like seed. It is also known as a conker. The diameter of the conker is 2-4 centimetres (1-1.5 inches). The conker is poisonous and is not the true edible chestnut.
It is native to the Balkans of south-east Europe.
The Horse Chestnut flowers in spring.
Photographed in the Botanical Garden, Paris, in January 2020 and April 2021.
Photographer: Martina Nicolls